Crime is scarier than swine flu

It’s said if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.   That’s true as far as it goes.  It is very important to stay healthy and avoid catching scary diseases like swine flu.   It just might be hazardous to your health.

Yet while the swine flu is serious business, I like to believe if  you take reasonable precautions, you can handle it if you get it or more likely you can avoid it altogether

It’s the routine and ordinary events of life in the city that scares me.

Last week, for the second time in six months someone held my nephew at gunpoint.   They broke into the house while he was there, held him at gunpoint while they stole several Xbox 360 video systems and the games and threatened his life.

To add insult to injury, my nephew recognized one of the thieves as a kid from the neighborhood whom he played with when they were both boys.   Now the son of a bitch is part of a crew of home invaders.

After taking the Xboxes and robbing my nephew of his money,  debit card and keys, they forced him to unlock the back door so they could get out.    One of the thieves held a gun on him while he was struggling to open the door.   He heard the thug cock the gun and he recalled thinking, “I’m going to get killed because I can’t open this stupid door.”

But he did get the door open and he survived a terrifiying situation.   He was and is throughly shaken by such a horrific situation.  We all come up with possbile worst-case scenarios and “what would we do” to get out of them alive, but one cannot know how they will react until the worst case actually happens.

I’m proud that my nephew showed both courage and common sense.  There were at least three to four guys  who broke in and that’s nowhere close to even odds.   He did the right thing by complying and not resisting.   A Xbox and a video game can be easily replaced.    You only get one life and you do everything you can to keep it.

Live to learn and fight another day.   That’s all that matters.  Everything else is just stuff that you can get more of.

An all too common sight across the nation

An all too common sight across the nation

I’ve written more columns than I care to recall  about Black-on-Black crime and how we have to stop killing each other for trivial and stupid things like video game systems.   It was only a matter of time  before this kind of crime stopped being an abstract thing and someone I know and care for became a victim.   I’m sorry  that it has happened to my nephew–twice—where he has had his life threatened at gunpoint.   That’s just too much to put on any 19 year-old.

Every morning my daughter walks to the bus stop I worry just a bit because there at least three or four sexual predators living our neighborhood.   Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my son 100 miles away attending college in a city where he doesn’t know a soul.    I find myself hoping my sister who lives by herself remembers to turn on her alarm system before she goes to sleep at night.

These days I won’t even honk my horn at some idiot on the road because they might be both strapped and crazy; a bad combination since I am neither.

It bothers me that I have more reason to be afraid of another Black man than I should be of a White racist.    It bothers me a lot.

Suffering a bout with the swine flu sounds so exotic and rare compared to the mundane and routine day-to-day problem of urban crime.   My nephew’s family called and reported the assault and robbery to the police.  They came by and took his statement, dusted for fingerprintes and issued a warrant for his ex-friend.    I hope they catch them soon before someone ends up getting shot and killed over complete bullshit.

Nobody called the local press.  Why bother?  Nobody got shot.  Nobody got caught.  It was just a bunch of Black kids jacking another Black kid.   It  not newsworthy and it sure isn’t unusual.

Swine flu is unusual.  The two-legged swine that victimize and terrorize their own people are depressingly routine.

I never stop hoping I won’t have to write any more stories like this, but I always do.   It’s a growth industry.